I live in mushroom country and have access to all of the different stuff they use. I can get it at any stage. I always took a good look at it and decided what looks best and get some. Usually I go to a dump and they have what I want. But I guess my question is what do I want? They top the beds with peat moss which has supplements and some other things in it I think lime but nobody wants to tell me the ingredients. It looks nice and I would amend into some beds sometimes.
The other is the smoking hay poop mixture. I rarely get this and when I have I set it asides to use at a later date.
Then there is the spent stuff that they take out of the mushroom house. I will dig through the older piles and look for what looks least like the original ingredients and most like "compost". And this is what I think I need to get.
I was considering using spent mushroom compost early last season, and after doing some research I decided it wasn't worth using as a compost or additive to my soil. It just doesn't add enough nutrient to the soil. It may do well in heavy clay soil but for me having sandy loam soil it doesn't make any sense. Ive decided on using horse manure leaf and grass and straw cuttings as well as common house hold recycling.....such as coffee grounds egg shells and vegetable peelings. for composting; Takes time but it's worth the effort in the long run.
OH one other thing it always pays to do regular soil testing when using such supplementation to make sure the PH and NPK are balanced. You can also have your soil tested for microbial content as well, but that can get expensive.
Man I found a spot that hasn't been touched in 5 years. I figured it was a gold mine.
It might be; I wouldn't rule out using it, just try some as an amendment in part of the garden this season and see what results you get. Then test that soil at the end of season and see what you get. Also I would plant the same plants in the two different areas of the garden to see what difference it makes. The other thing I might do is make sure I lime the area were I use the mushroom compost.
Michael: since the mushroom compost is a low PH it would be prudent to add lime to raise the PH to somewhere around 6.5 to 7.0. There are a few ways to test the soil, one would be to contact your local county aig. agent. The other would be to purchase a kit from a garden supply and test it yourself.....usually there are instructions on how to do the testing with the kit. You can also buy kits to test all the basic elements of NPK as well, they usually go around $ 40.00 and also can be found in better mail order gardening catalogs. Harris Seeds has them. You can go on site to www.harrisseeds.com.
They test what is available to the plants, not just what is in the soil. Give it look-see and see what you think. I have never used them, since I don't have my soil tested. I just add lots of home made compost each year.
Building compost for the giant maters and giant peppers.
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Bought the cheap test and I hate reading the colors they never seem to match. My results are: pH is between 6.5-7 Nitrogen adequate Phosphate adequate Potash Surplus
So then what you do is look at a chart on the box and pick what you are growing and it gives you what you should add based on your readings. So it never gave me an actual amount of what is in my soil. Instead it just gave me a number reference. So it seems like my black gold needs some work. I will begin looking around and seeing if i can find a different pile to take from.
Post by Pharmer Phil on Jan 19, 2012 9:02:28 GMT -6
Mike, it's kinda odd that your Ph is in the 6-7 range, which is good, but typically, Too much potassium can lead to a high pH, so I'm thinking that your surplus potash may be "not that high" most veggies require high potassium, especially root crops. A surplus of K would not harm your plants...But could inhibit the absorption of other nutrients though. Myself, without a more detailed test result would use your mix..but.. Hold back on any High K fertilizers Limit use of any lime, Kelp, wood ash, seaweed which would raise the potash levels.. I'd plant it up bro...
also, your soil test could be effected by your test soil's temperature..I find levels of all effected by cool spring soil...I try to check the soil in the fall when the temps are toasty...and adjust the soil before the next season
But letting your sample warm to room temperature would suffice